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Longtime Roslindale Square meat market could move out of square

Tony DeBenedictis, owner of Tony's Market on Washington Street, acknowledged today that he's seriously looking at moving from his longtime location in Roslindale Square to a spot up Washington at Durnell Avenue.

However, he said the deal is not 100% done and that he won't know for sure what he will do for about another month.

The Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services holds a meeting at 7 p.m. on April 28 at the Roslindale Community Center to let residents discuss the possibility of turning the abandoned Busy Bee dry cleaner's into a deli and meat market. Community support would be vital for the potential move because the property is not zoned for that use and so would require a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Tony's has been in its current location for more than four decades, but last year, he and his landlord Vincent Marino - another longtime Roslindale Square mainstay - got into a public argument over Marino's plans to add two stories to the building that houses both Tony's and Redd's in Rozzie.

Earlier this year, it looked as if the old dry cleaners would be turned into a restaurant.

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I hope it works out for him. He's a great guy.

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I don't want to see Tony move from the village but if he needs community support for zoning relief you can bet that we'll be there. He's a freaking treasure.

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I don't understand his urgency to move and think moving up the hill would be detrimental to his business. We need more housing, and if his rent isn't being increased or he isn't being kicked out, why move? He is established there, people aren't going to easily go to the store on Durnell, even though I would be excited to have that storefront refurbished.

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He was unhappy with the decision by the landlord to build above his shop and he thinks this would be better than to operate through the construction (slated to start after Redd's patio closes for the season in the fall).

I like having his market and shop there weekly. That being said, Tony is an older gent and there is not a clear succession plan in place (i.e. Tony Jr.) His nephew helps out on Saturdays and I guess his wife is there at times but I would think there are a limited number of years left he's going to want/be able to work. I think it's a mistake to disrupt his existing business for an upside which is only going to last maybe 3-5 years?

Wherever he moves, I'll still shop there and I hope it works out either way.

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if his rent isn't being increased or he isn't being kicked out, why move?

Considering he spoke out against the landlord's plans to build above his store, I would assume it's one if not both of the above.

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People come to Tony's from far away and will continue to do so. If he moves a few blocks further south, that will h0elp the businesses clustered around Met Ave. Tony won't do any worse, and Marino will easily find a new tenant. Sounds like win-win, I just wish it wasn't a decision born of conflict. It doesn't need to happen, but ultimately, the move could improve Roslindale.

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Considering how many empty storefronts there are in the square, I don't know if he'll "easily" find another tenant. It's too bad, I wish the square had some life besides the stretch on Corinth

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we do not need more housing, i have lived in Rossi my whole life 44 years, my family has lived here over 100 hundred years,they just added apartments buildings all over the place, what we need is more parking not housing , the Square is a traffic nightmare. SO maybe people should listen to the people that have been Rossi mainstays and realize we have seen it through the good and bad times.and for you newcomers the "VILLAGE" DOES NOT SEEM LIKE A QUAINT LITTLE VILLAGE ANYMORE, with the looming multistories hanging over washington street .starting to feel very congested

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More parking means more cars which means more traffic.

The city has a massive housing shortage driving prices through the roof with a demand far outstripping the supply.

You live in a neighborhood of city NOT a quaint village. Change is part of living in a city.

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As a fellow SHS alum and yes 44 year resident of Roslindale, I've seen the place through thick, thin, and a lot of people suddenly deciding to move to Walpole. The reality today is that without more housing, people will be priced out.

Yeah, I own now, but I kind of lucked out. I was pondering looking over in Dorchester or that way.

As for parking, little of that is due to any construction at the square. If more housing is built in Hyde Park or West Roxbury, or if retail in Dedham draws people from Dorchester, we'll face worse traffic regardless.

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It will alwasy be the SQUARE not the VILLAGE!

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And I say this as somebody who, as you can tell from my years of posting, always calls it Roslindale Square (because "Square" sounds like something you'd find in a big city, while "Village" sounds like, well, part of Newton or Natick, and who needs that?)

But for better or worse, "Roslindale Village" goes way, way back as a name. It's not something that just popped up a couple of years ago.

And as much as I personally don't prefer it, this bash-the-yuppies thing gets kind of tiring after awhile. We moved here way before the current influx of new folks, back in the early 90s, and if you've also been here that long and are being honest, you'll agree that Roslindale Square/Village/Whatever was no little slice of heaven back in the day: There was a giant hole between Corinth and South - which turned out to be heavily polluted - there were plenty of vacant storefronts, and there were times when it wasn't really considered safe to even walk around the area at night.

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... but apparently it wasn't "Roslindale Village" but rather just "The Village" -- and it co-existed with "Roslindale Square" for many years. It seems that by the 50s (or thereabouts) this term had gone out of favor. In any event, "Roslindale Village" was not simply made up -- out of thin air -- by Main Streets.

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I have yet to read a citation to "Roslindale Village" before the 1980s.

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... and they agree that in the pre-WWII era, people would say things like I'm going into the Village. You just haven't talked enough to (really) old enough people, ;-)

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The wonderful couple who lived and raised a family here after fleeing eastern Europe in the 30s before the Nazis moved in, *always* called it "the village".

RIP Vasil and Maria, together for 70 years, the most loving couple I've ever known.

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... who used to ride the 50 every day -- and was a refugee from Eastern Europe (who had a little old wife wo sometimes was on the bus with him). But we never knew his name. He was one of the sweetest people I had ever met. All of a sudden, he was no longer on the bus -- and has never been on it again. So I assumed he must have died.

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The Boston Globe refers to "Roslindale Village" in two articles from 1925:

"Roslindale Temple Club to Give Show Three Evenings" (4/21/1925):

There has been a great demand for tickets as it is expected to be one of the most up-to-the-minute shows to hit Roslindale Village in years.

"Deep Sea Fishing Contest on Trip" (8/17/1925):

Imbued with a keen yet friendly rivalry and the inspiring ozone, 40 members of the Roslindale Fishing Club, made up of business men in the Roslindale Village section, left at 9 o'clock this morning on a deep-sea fishing trip."

There are also a lot of ads from that time for a Roslindale Village Realty Trust at 1480 Washington Street.

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9 items referencing the phrase between 1872 and 1983. Now check out the 1000 references to Roslindale Square for the same period, 96 of which occurred before Hitler invaded Poland.

Do I mind that some won't call it the Square? Yeah, a bit, but it really frosts me that somehow the name has been "brought back" by people who by and large weren't around (or their families weren't around) when it was supposed to have been used.

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People referred to the collection of shops etc as "the Village" while the geographical location was "Roslindale Square". Given the colloquial context of the usage of "The Village" it would not be as likely to make it into printed sources. However, people alive in the pre-war era and historians agree that the term was used on a common basis.

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I know ppl that grew up there in the 40's and 50's and it was "The Village." It has always been the Square to me but I grew up in the 70's and 80's.

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Or at least was called that long before the 80s. Somewhere, I have seen time tables demonstrating this, though I can't find them at the moment. As always in this debate, I take the position that both terms are accurate, though not synonymous. The square is bounded by Corinth, Washington, South, and Belgrade. The train station and other areas near the square but not in it, are part of the village. The square itself, is also part of the village, but neither are the same as each other.

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Okay, I'm getting old, so 30 years is a couple of years ago to me. The reality is that back in the 30s and 40s it was the Square. The Village thing was definitely a PR thing that should go the way of the Ladder District.

If people want to be historical, why not call it the Taft's Tavern area, or at least something Taftesque. Or maybe "South Street Crossing" if you want to be more modern.

I will say this, you do keep it 100 with the Square, and I tip my hat to you for that.

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... "The Village" -- and it was in (was the center of) Roslindale. So the name had at least a partial historical basis. I have seen old sources using this, but I didn't make a note of exactly what these were. Also our local historian, the vey nice old postal clerk, confirmed this at a Roslindale Historical Society presentation.

Here's one source, a Roslindale Historical Society page with reminiscenses of people who lived in Roslindale before WW2:

http://www.roslindalehistoricalsociety.org/history.htm

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These newcomers who only moved to Roslindale in the 1930s are clearly first wave yuppies who ruined the neighborhood.

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... in the early 50s, not the ones who moved there in the 30s. ;-}

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My wife and I moved to Roslindale about 10 years ago. Me from Somerville the wife from JP. She grew up calling it Roslindale Sq. We went to a neighborhood party a few years later and called it the Sq. and were corrected by a older woman (70's) who grew up on Cedrus Ave that is was "The Village" and "Always has been". We talked to her and she and her family and immediate neighbors always referred to "going down to the Village". This one is one I think that differs from street to street and house to house.I don't know what is right but we always say the Sq.

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We talked to her and she and her family and immediate neighbors always referred to "going down to the Village".

Obviously a fraud or she wouldn't have included the word "to".

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When I moved here back in the early 1890s, it was called roslin's dale - and whenever we got a case of the morbs, we'd head into the village to seek out the jammiest bits of jam. If no such luck we'd ride our pennyfarthings into the city for a bit of mafficking until we were chased off by the mutton shunters.

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Very frustrating to see a long time business pushed out like this. RVMS never should have gotten involved in this issue where you had a business owner pitted against an RVMS board member. Marino's project might end up good for the square but it sucks that it will result in this. Best of luck to Tony.

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Members of the RVMS board who have spoken at various meetings about this have gone to great pains to point out that they speak only for themselves. And in general, their comments have been very balanced - mostly saying that development in the neighborhood is a good thing, but should proceed at a manageable pace and not force out existing healthy businesses.

I'm a friend and huge fan of Tony, and think Vinny Marino has been playing it fast and loose - but I can't see how any of whats been going on can be blamed on the RVMS. Vinny has properties all over the area and is clearly used to getting his way. If he's juicing the process, it's at a way higher level than the RVMS.

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could be both: the square is the area around adams park, the village is the broader area extending up washington, south, corinth, cummins, etc.

Square: actually used to have a physical definition...as businesses expanded around the squares, the definition expanded, they became villages, then towns, cities, megaopoli, etc.

a lot of squares in our city have lost meaning; eg. Jackson, Kendall, Scollay, even Cleary...some still evoke a strong visual of a physical place: Harvard, Kenmore, Logan, Rozzie, Mattapan, Hyde, Post Office, even if most of these are expanded to include neighboring streets.

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It's a triangle!

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don't go there...then you'll really be called a yuppy.

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Ever the conciliator.

Of course, even though triangle is the best description, my fear is that it would lead to some New York City like SoHo.

For instance, the area between Firth Road and Archdale could be called NoTri, or the area between the commuter rail station and the Arboretum, technically Peters Hill, could end up being NoTri Hill.

I might start pushing for Taft's Corner or something like that. Without the Tafts, the area wouldn't have ended up as good as it is. They were the first independent business in the Square. Or Village. Or whatever.

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is called BelWash because it's between Belgrade and Washington St. BTW.

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MetPop (kind of catchy...).

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I live in the area to the south of the Triangle, at the bottom of the hills, so I guess that is LoSoTri.

And now I feel bad.

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a lo-calorie italian dish

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definitely sounds like a place that would be overrun by yuppies.

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Sad to see Tony moving further out, but happy it's not too far.

My guess is that he crossed Vinny. What a piece of work Vinny is. I'd go on, but I did already when the new housing was proposed.

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